Friday, November 19, 2010

For Certain

The only thing that can be for certain is uncertainty. This is a daunting realization and admittedly does not apply to everything in life, but many things. It was also a big part of the message Heather Sellers shared at Roosevelt University's Reading Series this past Wednesday. Ms. Sellers was an undergraduate professor of one of my MFA classmates at Hope College in Holland, Michigan. My classmate always talked about her great love for Ms. Sellers as a person and teacher. Upon meeting Ms. Sellers at the reading I soon realized how engaging she could be. She was exuberant and spilling with energy and love of writing. Her discussion of her life and recent memoir You Don't Look Like Anyone I Know was exceptionally honest and inspiring. Her condition, face blindness, she claims has trained her to live the uncertain of a writer well. She says her condition requires her to live in uncertainty constantly and has translated into her ability to let go of the aghast that sometimes accompanies us writers in our lives.

Having Type A tendencies I allow for very little uncertainty, but I've been quietly and admittedly with slight hesitation letting it into my life. After about two or three weeks of this I surprisingly feel a little more happy. That's not to say I haven't or don't have spells of relapse where repressed anxiety takes over for a few minutes, but then it goes away. What a wonderful discovery. Another thing Ms. Sellers talked about was practice. This tid bit had a hint of humor as well as truth to it. She shared that her best students are the athletes and musicians because they know what means to practice. This is such a simple observation, but very true once reflected on for awhile. She playful made fun at the whiny writers that "just can't drag themselves to the pen and paper" and praised those that just do the writing. For anyone with a slight competitive bone I'd think this would spark a nerve with you. Myself, I felt like "wait, I'm the writer this is my sport. I need to keep my game on point." Anything you can tell yourself to get your writing done that day is worth saying.

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